The jack of all trades.
We don't dream of climbing long and tedious fire roads, and while we can't speak for everyone, we're pretty sure you don't either. Instead, we dream of the flowy or tech-filled descents, bouldery rock gardens, and tight root-laden treelines. That being said, unless you're shuttling every lap, or hitting up a resort for lift-access, you won't be so blessed to receive that downhill reward without earning it first. For this, you need a bike that is lightweight and nimble on the climbs, but dominates descents. Meet the Yeti Cycles 2018 SB5 Turq mountain bike frame, a bike that's just as happy sending chunky lines as it is laying down some cross-country laps at your local trail network, with lightweight carbon fiber, and a pedaling platform that's hard to beat.
Like its predecessor from 2016, the SB5 is versatile, lightweight, and truly excels in all kinds of terrain, but it did see some tweaks last year to update the geometry, making it even more capable than before. Starting at the front, the head tube angle was slacked out about a half a degree, to a long and low 66.5-degrees, allowing for confidence inspiring geometry on descents. With the shift of the head tube, the seat tube was pushed forward, upping the angle to 73.6-degrees (medium), keeping you forward in the cockpit for improved control on descents, as well as laying the power down on climbs. The rear end saw a big makeover, with the previously used 142mm non-boost hub spacing being stretched to a generous 148mm boost hub spacing. By widening the hub, not only does boost spacing allow for a stiffer wheel to be built, but it also clears up space closer to your seat tube, enabling the shortening of chainstays to a stubby 17.2-inches, to tuck your wheel in closer to the frame. Translating this to your ride, it means a snappier and more nimble rear end that's powerful under pedaling force.
In front of the rear triangle you'll find Yeti's Switch Infinity suspension system. Different from the previously used Switch Link, Switch Infinity offers more linear travel arc, smoothly transitioning to keep the eccentric link from getting caught in a dead spot. Switch Infinity moves steadily through the beginning of your travel, moving a slider along its Kashima coated stanchions, offering support when you put the power down with anti-squat technology, while still offering small bump compliance to keep the ride comfortable on gravely fire roads. When you begin to compress deeper into the travel, the bearings on the downhill-inspired-slider pivot to travel toward the bottom bracket so you don't lose power mid-pedal stroke. And finally, when you're pointing it downhill getting ready to gobble up rocks and rooty single track, the upper pivot provides a path for your wheel to travel vertically to smooth out burly drops to flat, tire-grabbing trail snakes, and square-edge impacts for a confidence inspiring ride downhill.
Pairing Kashima-coated stanchions of Switch Infinity with more of that silky-smooth coating, the SB5 Turq frame comes along with Fox's Factory DPS, Kashima-coated rear shock. Offering supple support as you roll down the mountain, the Factory DPS gives you 127mm of bottomless-feeling travel with adjustable tuning and rebound for quick changes you need to make when terrain switches from miles of bouldery downhill to a long and punchy climb back to the top.
Adding to the bells and whistles, this frame is made from Yeti's highest-end carbon fiber — the Turq series. Meticulously laid carbon fiber bonds around a mold to cure with minimal resin pooling, reducing weight, and increasing strength in joints without excess material being added. Turq is the cream of the crop in the world of carbon fiber bikes, with minimal margin for error, and exceptional weight savings, Turq frames ride with unsurpassable durability for a solid and smooth ride on any trail.
- Dominate XC to Enduro in this versatile trail machine
- Switch Infinity offers 5-inches of smooth suspension
- Stubby chainstays give you a playful and nimble ride
- Feel like a powerhouse descending with slacked out head tube
- Hammer out climbs with ease with steeper seat tube angles
- Turq level carbon fiber offers lightweight reliable stiffness
- Super lightweight, stiff, and durable to last through the roughest riding